Cardinals and E-M join to play in DuBois Saturday

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

Players from the Southern-Tier Cardinals and the Elk-McKean All-Stars (E-M) have merged to form a team which will play a three-team, round-robin tournament at Showers Field in DuBois Saturday.

Members of the two teams defeated Titusville 4-1 last Thursday at George Murray Field in Smethport. Titusville will also be in DuBois Saturday as will the home team DuBois Double Days.

Cardinals manager Dick Ognen was instrumental in starting the team along with E-M coaches Casey Zimmerman and Mike Porter. Players in last week’s game included Aiden and Luke Zimmerman, Collin Porter, Ethan Wells, and Camron Marciniak of Elk-McKean along with Cardinals Alex Ogen, Chase Burdick, Michael Gow, and Tre Slawson. According to Ognen Justin Peterson and Andy Jekielek of Kane will also take part in Saturday’s event.

The combined team will play DuBois at 11 a.m. and Titusville at 1:45 p.m.

Ognen said he was approached by the DuBois manager to see if he wanted to play there Saturday. With football (voluntary) workouts still relevant he didn’t know if he would have enough players so he checked with Porter to see if any E-M players would be interested. “He said yes so we put it together between Tuesday and Wednesday and we were playing ball Thursday,” the Cardinals manager said.

“I’ve known Mike for a long time and I’ve known Casey for a while. I respect the [heck] out of them as baseball coaches. They’ve done a great job with the group they have. They know how to play ball and I respect them for what they taught their kids and what a great job they’ve done,” Ognen said of the two E-M coaches.

The team instantly bonded according to the Cardinals manager. “The coaches, the kids and I kind of like bang - hit it off Thursday night. At batting practice the kids got in a circle and talked and seemed to work really well,” said Ognen who is happy to see the kids getting more playing time. “It’s nice to be able to provide them some baseball. Our team got a lot of games in during July and during the first couple days of August at our tournament but that was the only time we could play. They’ve travelled to a few tournaments and did well. I think the kids are still hungry for it and want to play more games,” he said.